Ah, Greenpoint!

November 25, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

Earlier today I made a rather fascinating discovery; when you run the search terms “drunk” and “Greenpoint” some mighty interesting things pop up on YouTube. The following are three of my more “choice” finds. Enjoy!

You know, inasmuch as people are angry at the prospect of doling out $2.50 to ride our fine city’s subways and buses I really do not mind. With “in flight” entertainment like this dude I have no qualms whatsoever with ponying up an extra fifty cents. As a matter of fact I consider money well spent.

Miss Heather

Williamspoint Photos du Jour: It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like X-Mas!

November 25, 2008 ·
Filed under: Bed-Stuy, Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

Kent Avenue, Williamsburg.

Lorimer Street, Greenpoint.

I would like to advise my fellow north Brooklynites not to overindulge this upcoming turkey day. The eyes in the Stuy will be watching us.

Miss Heather

TOMORROW: Portraits From The Soup Kitchen

November 25, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic, Williamsburg 

For those of you who are staying in the Garden Spot this upcoming Tofurky Day there are plenty of ways to get your fix of thankfulness. As I mentioned before, there will be an interfaith service at Ahavas Israel starting at 7:30 p.m. Volunteers are always welcome at the Greenpoint Reformed Church’s food pantry and soup kitchen. Especially tomorrow when they’ll be serving up an early Thanksgiving dinner. Ann Kansfield wrote (in her press release):

The Greenpoint Reformed Church Soup Kitchen will host a special Thanksgiving turkey dinner on Wednesday, November 25 from 6-7pm. The event will mark the opening of a new art exhibit featuring portraits of the soup kitchen’s patrons and volunteers painted by Janice Bridgers.

The soup kitchen has found innovative ways to help feed increasing numbers of homeless and low-income individuals. The kichen manages to feed a hot meal to 80-100 people each week on a shoestring budget.  We expect even more people to come for the pre-Thanksgiving meal on Wednesday night. The meal will consist of turkey and other traditional Thanksgiving trimmings.

Adding to the evening is the opening of an art show featuring portraits of the soup kitchen’s clients and volunteers. The artwork is meant to increase self-esteem and pride among individuals who are often demoralized and hopeless. The artwork is displayed with gallery lighting in the same room where the soup kitchen meals take place…

Founded in 2007, the Greenpoint Reformed Church Soup Kitchen is a non-sectarian program that provides a weekly hot meal for homeless and low income people in North Brooklyn.  The number of people served by the soup kitchen has risen signficiantly due to the downturn in the economy.

Janice Bridgers began painting portraits of people associated with soup kitchen after she began volunteering with the program. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and makes a great tasting pot of soup.

Here are a few works by Ms. Bridgers (which I have to admit as a painter who defected to sculpture I rather like. They are strikingly reminiscent of Alice Neel.) you’ll see tomorrow night at the soup kitchen. Each painting will be for sale (they’re $300 each) and all proceeds will go towards the soup kitchen.

You can see more of Ms. Bridger’s work by clicking here. In closing I’d like to mention that the soup kitchen and food pantry needs our help now more than ever:

Each day there’s a new story about how the decline in our economy is leading to an increase in demand for food pantries and soup kitchens. We’ve seen a huge increase in the number of people coming through the doors of the Greenpoint Reformed Church’s soup kitchen and food pantry. As you might guess, the funds needed to help feed so many hungry people haven’t kept pace with the demand. In fact, our city funding got cut this summer.  Our pantry is empty right now, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing to you.

We need your help, and we’re asking you to do two things. Please make a Thanksgiving donation to Greenpoint’s pantry and kitchen. No gift is too small – we can do a lot with just $5 or $10.  We’re able to buy food at a reduced cost from the NY Food Bank, so we leverage every dollar donated to us. Second, please help spread the word and forward this message to five friends asking them to donate a few bucks.  If everyone gives a little, we can do so much.

We’re aren’t a large non-profit.  We don’t have a fancy building or shiny equipment. You can be assured that your donation goes directly to help people who would otherwise fall through the cracks of our society.  Along with helping people, you also have the benefit of your donation being tax-deductable.

You can send a check to:

Greenpoint Church Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry
136 Milton St.
Brooklyn, NY 11222

Or make an online donation by clicking here.

Miss Heather

Promising New Brooklyn Blog Of The Year…

November 25, 2008 ·
Filed under: Area 51, Park Slope 

and perhaps this decade.

Yesterday I was busy doing what many of you, dear readers, have probably been engaged in: preparing for Thanksgiving. Thankfully I had some time to moderate comments this evening and after doing so I noticed a most curious incoming link:

Naturally I was all over this like a bedbug on a Greenpoint mattress. It’s not that I want to hate Park Slope or anything —although to be fair I kind of do. It’s just that the place is so damned weird. To my little Greenpoint eye it’s sort of like Levittown and The Stepford Wives got together and built an enclave in Brooklyn. With double-wide strollers and wifi.

Let’s consider the latter most advertisement for a moment, shall we? I seriously doubt anyone in Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Bushwick or Bedford-Stuyvesant would have to troll the webs in search of cockroaches. Just last week I watched one of our cats eviscerate one such creature in our kitchen. He was considerate enough to eat it afterwards. I don’t think it measured 1 1/2 inches though. What is Lee getting at here? Is waiting for the G train too much of a bother? Are Greenpoint cockroaches not good enough for him?!?

Size queen.

This is the latest entry. For those of you who are wondering follows are a few of the Facebook groups which F.I.P.S. has unearthed which hail from the Slope that is Park:

*New Park Slope Ladies Funtime Goodtimes Group (8 members)
*You Know You’re From Park Slope When… (426 members)
*Park Slope Ultimate Frisbee League (PSUFL) (54 members)
*The Inevitable Damnation of Park Slope (25 members)
*Ive (sic) Burned in Park Slope dis Summer (17 members)
*I Am Suspended from The Park Slope Food Coop (7 members)
*Get the NY Times To Shut Up About Park Slope Already (4 members)
*Dem Slope Boyz (a Park Slope Frat!!!) (request to join)

Yup. If the first three days Fucked In Park Slope has been in publication are any indication, I will be an avid reader for a very, very long time. Now if you don’t mind some cockroaches and I have a date with a can of RAID.

Miss Heather

Anything f’ Thanksgiv’n?

November 24, 2008 ·
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

I imagine a number of you are preparing for Thanksgiving. Before I commence with the task of hunting and gathering all the proper vegetables for the feast I’ll be preparing (chile rellenos with rice, beans, salsa, soup and sangria!) I thought I would take the time to share a little bit ‘o’ of old New Yorkiana with you: Ragamuffin Day.

What is Ragamuffin Day, you ask? That is an excellent question. Imagine if you will a dash of Halloween on Thanksgiving Day. Children throughout our fair city would dress up in tatty clothes, blacken their faces and go door to door asking:

Anything f’ Thanksgiv’n?

If the man or woman of the house felt charitable he or she would throw them candy, fruit or change for their efforts. And just like the “trick or treating” we know today there was ample latitude on both sides— beggars and beggees alike —for mischief. Do you know what a “red penny” is? You will after reading this article from the November 27, 1931 edition of the New York Times. Enjoy!

Those of you who want to learn more about Ragamuffin Day from a distinctly Greenpointian point of view should point and click your way over to Greenpt.com. There you will find a number of amusing firsthand accounts of this long gone tradition.

Miss Heather

Photo Credit: SuzyO of Py-O-My (who I will ordering my apple pie from!)

Greenpoint Photos du Jour: Art Lover’s Special

November 24, 2008 ·
Filed under: Articles of Fedderization, Greenpoint Magic 

Ever had one of those moments when you realized something so fucking obvious you could kick yourself? Well, I had one of those epiphanies recently. It was as follows:

Greenpointers like chainsaw sculptures. A LOT.

Follows are a few of my favorite specimens. Enjoy!

Kingsland Avenue

India Street

The flower is a nice touch.

Eckford Street

Pope preaching to an assortment of woodland creatures and a Fedders box: priceless.

Miss Heather

Halloween In Greenpoint

November 1, 2008 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Yesterday I had the pleasure dispensing fistfuls of teeth-rotting goodness to children of all ages at the junk shop. The zeal with which I took to executing this task seemed to surprise Larry da Junkman:

That’s really cute.

Me: What?
Larry: You handing out candy. You really like doing this, don’t you?
Me: Of course I do. It’s HALLOWEEN!

Who couldn’t enjoy giving the gift of refined sugar to a Jedi master as sweet as this one?

I like to call this guy “Chicken Little”.

This little Lion King’s make-up got a little discombobulated in transit.

No worries, mom repainted his whiskers and he was good as new! A curious dialog came to pass when I asked this little guy’s parents if I could take his picture.

Father: Are you going to put this online?
Me: Maybe. Probably on flickr.
Father: Do you have a web site?
Me: Yes.
Mother: Is it New York Shitty?
Me: Well actually it is.
Mother: You’re the lady who takes all the pictures!
Me: Whew! I was expecting you to say something a lot worse!

The above two photographs do not do this little fella justice. He was heart-wrenchingly adorable! But Halloween is not just about cherubic faced young ‘uns.

As you can see the guys at Papacitos* got into the Halloween spirit! The above gentleman gyrated for a good 20-30 seconds while exclaiming:

Can you see my junk?

I told him “yes” and gave him a lollipop. Very few things have the power to truly shock me anymore; this is because I was once a civil servant. That said, bipeds were not the only creatures wearing costumes today.

This poodle sported her finest fettle for the occasion.

And I even made the acquaintance of a pirate pup!

As I was handing out candy a woman I know, a bona fide Greenpoint old-timer, pulled me aside and said:

You realize a lot of these people (I was giving candy to) do not live here.

I had honestly not given the matter any thought. This is probably because I do not care.

Halloween is about dressing up, flauting the drudgery and conventions of everyday life and having fun. It is very much a collective experience  —not unlike Christmas or New Year’s Eve. It is— in its strange way— about sharing. I am not going to ask for proof of residency before doling out lollipops or Hershey’s Kisses to children. There was more than enough confectioneries and fun to go around. For everyone.**

I suppose this makes me a candy-giving Commie —or a lollipop pimping populist.

Make that a newly zombified lollipop pandering populist —or carnivorous Commie!

BRAINS!!!

Miss “Living Undead” Heather

P.S.: You can see more pix of Halloween on Manhattan Avenue by clicking here.

*Who have made themselves near and dear to my heart by serving up vegan breakfast tacos. Thanks guys!

**Save a CONSTRUCTION WORKER from (where else?) the Viridian who snatched a lollipop from my tray without asking and then proceeded to laugh about it with his cronies (one of whom said “Hey lady, can I suck on a lollipop?”). This chap, dear readers, was a certifiable grade “A” ASSHOLE. The least this man could have done is ASKED FIRST —but I suppose he felt “entitled” to it. Clearly he was not taught good manners like the following child (I gave a heaping helping of candy to today):

Child #1 (after I gave him a fistful of candy): I want a Hershey’s Kiss.
Child #2: You shouldn’t tell people what you want. It’s not very nice.
Miss Heather (to child #2): You my friend have very good manners. For this reason you are getting a Hershey’s kiss.

Kindness and civility go a long way folks. Or at the very least you can show me your “junk” when pandering for junk food. Grabbing shit off my candy tray is just plain RUDE.

Halloween Photos du Jour: Finally!

October 22, 2008 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

After getting off to late start I am pleased to announce that 97 Russell Street is getting down to some serious Halloween business! What’s more I got to meet the woman behind some of this madness (she was waiting for her husband to arrive with a lift so they could hoist a ghost onto their tree) and get the 411 as to what is going on.

Apparently the reason they got off to a late start this year (the left-hand side of the yard was still incomplete as of today) was because she went on a trip to Egypt (!) and her hubby didn’t where she had stashed all the Halloween goodness!

Once the aerosol foam insulation dries on this bad boy he’ll be brandishing a meat cleaver! YAY!

This cute little witch holds court with her retinue of ghosts above the front door…

right next to this rather nasty looking fella.

Scaryass clown? Check.

Wraith and an organ? Check.

These skulls on a pike come from Long Island!

I can hardly wait to see what this looks like once they fire up the smoke machine. (YES, they’re going to have one!)

Last week I learned from their neighbors over on Humboldt that there is some long-standing friendly competition between brains behind the Humboldt Hurler and the folks at 97 Russell. As a matter of fact, their properties abut each other —enabling them to keep careful track of each others progress. It’s all in good fun though. The incredibly kind woman at 97 Russell told me today with a hint of pride that their house and 648 Humboldt were featured in the New York Daily News last year. This came to pass because her daughter happens to be a reporter for this publication.

Now that’s what I call an inside scoop!

Miss Heather

Greenpoint Fashion Watch

The last twenty four hours my inbox has been abuzz with fashion. More specifically the stylings of a certain physician whose office is on Greenpoint Avenue between Manhattan Avenue and Franklin Street.

Bitchcakes writes:

Walking up Greenpoint Ave yesterday (from Franklin going towards Manhattan Ave), Matt and I noticed this advertisement in a window (attached). It was just screaming your name, so I had to make sure you saw it.

Mike writes:

My name is Mike, I’m one of the writers of the NAG blog– thanks for the bloggy love- we got a lot of hits from you.

This isn’t NAG blog material, but totally up your alley…

The attached picture is of a poster is in one of the newly-renovated buildings on the south side of Greenpoint Ave b/t Manhattan and Franklin. Everything about it says “please don’t let this man touch your privates, even in a medical context.”

What is all the Garden Spot fuss about, you ask?

This guy.

Nice bow tie.

Miss Heather

Comment Of The Week: 156 India Street

July 29, 2008 ·
Filed under: 11222, Asshole, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

I guess I’m late in responding to this, but my then gf & now wife lived at 156, in the back house. I should state that I am a structural engineer. The first time I went there, happy to be invited back to a new girl’s house for the first time, I was absolutely floored by the condition of both buildings on the property.

There were holes in the front house that birds had happily nested in. The hole thing had an odd slant to it. Her friends who lived there asked me if I could do anything, but I knew that reporting it would get the place condemned, leaving them with no place to go and moderate fines for the Owner. Which is pretty much what happened.

My wife moved in with me to a nice place a few blocks away last year, but one of her friends stayed, only to come home to fire trucks & police in front of her house one night. She was given a small window to get her stuff & find a new place to live. As a younger single woman with family & friends in the area, she ended up ok, but there were families in the building who had been there for over 10 years, and I know one Polish family had a profoundly disabled wheelchair ridden child. I can’t imagine what they did.

That there is often no significant penalty to owners/landlords like this is just wrong. There should be criminal penalties associated with this type of abuse.
Rant over!

Yes there should be, but our city doesn’t seem to be too keen on defending the rights of lowly renters. If they were real go-getters they’d own a condo by now.

(Soapbox)

I am not a go-getter. I rent. As do great number of people in this neighborhood. We cannot afford a down payment on a $500,000 condominium and as a result we place our trust in landlords. They are the guardians of our personal safety. Unfortunately all too many of them are like Mr. Nealis.* When landlords fail, we call 311. To little avail. This city should be ASHAMED of itself.

Miss Heather

*Who I am certain would love to have this lot demolished. It’s probably worth more without rent-stabilized housing on it.

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